PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's King Abdullah Ahmad Shah has personally driven his family to Maran, a town in his home state of Pahang, to meet the victims there as floods triggered by incessant downpour forced more than 19,000 people out of their homes across Peninsular Malaysia.
Sultan Abdullah was seen taking the wheel in an Instagram photo posted by Queen Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah. "All set for Maran... Tuanku is driving himself," she said.
"Balik kampung (going back to kampung)...
"Please pray for Pahang, Johor and Terengganu.
"Ya Allah, please save our country," the Queen said on her Instagram account airtangan_tunkuazizah.
The post received more than 56,000 likes as at 11.30am, along with thousands of good wishes towards the royal couple.
The number of evacuees has risen in Pahang as Kelantan and Perak became the latest states to be ravaged by floods.
In a warning issued on Monday (Jan 4), the Meteorological Department said heavy rainfall is expected to continue in Terengganu, Pahang and Johor on Tuesday.
The number of flood victims in Pahang rose to 13,626 people from 3,607 families at 200 relief centres, with Kuantan being the worst affected, followed by Maran, Raub, Jerantut, Lipis and Rompin.
Several rivers in Pahang have breached the danger level.
The district of Kemaman in Terengganu; Jerantut, Maran, Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor have been issued a severe weather warning with the second-highest orange alert.
Kelantan and several districts in Terengganu, Pahang and Johor are on the lowest yellow alert.
A total of 19,591 people remained at evacuation centres in five flood-hit states in the peninsula as at 1pm yesterday, according to data from the Social Welfare Department's portal.
While the number of evacuees dropped slightly in Johor and Terengganu, there was an increase in Pahang, Perak and Kelantan.
In Perak, the number of evacuees rose to 894 from 615 on Sunday morning.
In Selangor, flood evacuees rose to 174, with two evacuation centres opened in Hulu Bernam and Bestari Jaya.
The districts of Besut, Setiu, Kuala Nerus, Hulu Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Marang and Dungun in Terengganu are expected to be hit by heavy rain on Tuesday.https://www.instagram.com/p/CJpeNf8BMU0/
Heavy rains are also expected in some areas in Johor, namely Segamat, Kluang, Kulai, Kota Tinggi and Johor Baru, and the districts of Telupid, Kinabatangan, Beluran in Sandakan and Kudat in Sabah.
According to the forecast on timeanddate.com, people in five states will continue experiencing the cold spell today with temperatures at between 23 deg C and 25 deg C, while the weather remains chilly in other districts and states.